Aug 142011

That moment where you buy more than you can carry and go stow your purchases in the trunk of the car? You can have something similar on your bike with the Donkey Boxx.

Hauling a load on a bike is easy with the Donkey Boxx.
A typical bike shopping load of groceries fits beautifully into the Donkey Boxx. (Yes, those are my pretty Po Campo bags: Six-Corner Wristlet inside the Donkey Boxx ready to move to the handlebars if I need more room, and the Loop Pannier on the other side of the rack.)

I’ve had one on my bike for over three months and now I can’t imagine being without it on a utility/transportation bike. It gives me stow-and-go simplicity: Pop open the lid, drop in a bag of groceries and you’re on your way. At your destination, pull out the bag, leave the box on the bike—it’s zip-tied on—drop your helmet and gloves into the Boxx if you’re the trusting type like me, and go inside.

At the Spokane Farmers’ Market, Spokane Public Market, or South Perry Farmers’ Market, all favorite stops of mine, I carry my cloth grocery bag with me to shop. When it’s full I know I have a little more capacity in the Donkey Boxx to top off the load.

If I had two I’d have some serious hauling capacity. They’re rated for up to 30 pounds apiece and I wouldn’t want to haul more than 60 most days anyway.

The “definitely unprecious” design—made of 80% recycled milk jugs at a  Minnesota facility that employs people with disabilities—provides something of an esthetic balance to the beautiful Po Campo Loop Pannier I carry on the other side for my laptop, cell phone, files, and other work whatnot.

I love it so much I’m selling them at my shopping events. The only thing I’d change would be to swap out the regular zip ties for the reusable kind in case you do want to take it off.

Installation: About five minutes. It comes with a handy heel-strike tool to help you position it correctly, along with reflective stickers for the back and a couple of reinforcement disks for the zip-tie holes.

Cool features that might not strike you at first glance: I customized mine with help from my friends at Hydra Creations; love the space the Boxx provides for self-expression. The flat lid gives me a handy place to write a note or set down a latte for a minute while I organize my things.

Issues? None. Over the three-plus months I’ve ridden with it loaded daily one zip tie has broken, and I completely own up to hauling more than the rated capacity on multiple occasions.

The one thing I’m guessing I might run into is that it could be tricky to load into the inside (toward the bus) spot on a STA bike rack. That’s where the reusable zip ties could come in handy.

Load balance: Riding empty it doesn’t add weight to the bike—probably weighs less than the typical black bike bag with all its metal hardware attachments. Sure, if I load heavy on one side I need to manage it carefully, but that’s true with any bag. I always have a pannier on the other side and that provides a counterweight.

Funniest remark so far: Someone at the South Perry Street Fair looked at it and remarked, “That wouldn’t be very aero” (aerodynamic, that is). Well, no—no it wouldn’t. It’s not as if I have it mounted on a tri bike with flat racing bars. I’m okay with my non-aero configuration; it allows me to shop freely.

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Reader Comments

  1. Errrrrr. I re-read the post and saw that you had already thought of the reusable tie idea. My bad.

  2. We own 2 pairs of Donkey Boxxes and the one other selling point not listed above was the fact that they are made in the USA by developmentally disabled workers in northern MN. (Information available on the Donkey Boxx website.)

    I’m not sure if you want the ability to quickly remove your Boxxes or not, but we use releasable cable ties from Home Depot. The ties we use have an individual tensile strength of 50lbs (166% the rating of the Boxx) while having the added benefit of being removable which allows us to run with or without our Boxxes at will.

  3. I have to add a follow-up note: My 17-year-old daughter borrowed my bike to make an emergency coffee and scone run during the Aug. 14 Spokane Summer Parkways. (Tragically, our booth did not have the strategic location we had at the July Parkways when we stood one table away from Roast House Coffee with all the free iced toddy we could hold.)

    When she got back she pulled a bag of scones out of the Donkey Boxx and said with emphasis, “That thing is SO HANDY!”


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